Ruud Gullit has said he believes United should, and will, move for three new players during the next transfer window.
Mention transfer windows to Manchester United fans and they will probably look at you with a mixture of fear and sombre acceptance. After all, the prospect of another round of excitement-inducing headlines leading to little more than rejection and disappointment is the last thing they need.
And yet former Chelsea boss Ruud Gullit believes January could be the month when David Moyes’ postponed dreams finally come true.
After a summer of missteps and one late overpayment, United are now suffering the fate of a team who failed to improve when they were at their peak. While the sides around them strengthened, they stood if not still then certainly only a half-step further than they finished last season.
And while the word ‘crisis’ can realistically be replaced with the phrase ‘rectifiable issues’, there is no doubt United need new faces – and not just baby-faced ones.
In quotes published by the Mirror, Gullit said, “I can fully understand that new boss David Moyes has now asked the board to sanction the purchase of three top-class footballers in the winter to keep the team competing at the highest level in England and in Europe.
“I have reason to believe that funds are being made available to United. And they should because it is a necessity.”
How Gullit knows this information is a mystery for another day. But whether he has a source or is just using his common sense, the simple fact is United do need to spend big in January or risk missing out on the Champions League.
Those who would accuse me of overreacting need only look at the new arrivals at Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal, while also considering the impact Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge are having at Liverpool.
As good as United’s current crop remain, they are no longer markedly better than those challenging them. And in a season when the top four could be something of a lottery, United need to ensure they are pulled from the hypothetical hat.
Gullit is not alone in believing Moyes needs to strengthen. But the biggest question is not if United spend, but if they can sign the right players midway through a season, when the calibre they require are almost invariably involved in European competition and domestic challenges of their own.
Gullit went on to say that the arrival of new faces could allow Wayne Rooney to “follow his heart if he wants to leave”.
But for that to be the case, those three nameless, faceless players had better be among the very best. Otherwise Moyes will be parting with one of the few men who can keep United in the bigger game.
image: © eirikref